Maria Montero

Instagram thinks you want IGTV previews on your feed …

If you can’t beat or join them… do you feed them hard? That seems to be from Instagram The latest strategy for IGTV, which is now being fed into Instagram’s main feed, the company announced today. Instagram says it will now add one-minute IGTV previews to the feed, making it “even easier” to discover and view IGTV content.

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As you may recall, IGTV was launched last year as a way for Instagram to attract creators. With IGTV, creators can share long-form videos within the Instagram platform instead of just short-form content for Feed or Stories.

The videos, prior to today, could be viewed on Instagram by tapping on the IGTV icon at the top right of the screen, or within the standalone IGTV app.

Instagram’s hope was that IGTV would provide the company with a means to better compete with larger video sites, like Google’s YouTube or Amazon’s Twitch.

Its users, however, have not found IGTV to be convincing.

As of last fall, few creators were working on content exclusively for IGTV and the rumor was that the audience for IGTV content was still quite small, compared to rivals like Snapchat or Facebook. Many creators simply didn’t find it worth investing additional resources in IGTV, so they were repurposing content designed for other platforms, such as YouTube or Snapchat.

That means the biggest creators weren’t developing premium or exclusive content for IGTV, but instead were experimenting by playing content their fans might find elsewhere. Many are still not sure what the IGTV audience wants to see.

IGTV’s standalone app doesn’t seem to have gained much of a following either.

Today’s app is ranked No. 228 in the US App Store’s top “Photo & Video” chart despite being managed by Instagram, an app that surpassed 1 billion monthly users last summer. and which is currently the # 1 free app on iOS, there are fewer IGTV downloads.

After seeing 1.5 million downloads in its first month of last year, largely out of curiosity, today’s IGTV app has only grown to 3.5 million installs worldwide, according to data from Sensor Tower. While those may be good numbers for a startup, for a spin-off from one of the world’s largest apps, they are relatively small.

Instagram’s new video initiative also represents another opportunity beyond Instagram purists.

As BuzzFeed reporter Katie Notopoulos opined last year, “Sorry to report that Instagram is bad now.” His point of concern was the impact the Stories had on the Instagram post – people were sharing the Stories rather than the Source, which made Feed pretty boring. At the moment, the content of Stories was not good either, since it became a source of disposable messages that did not deserve to be shared directly in the profiles of the users.

On top of all this, it looks like the Instagram Feed will now be saturated with IGTV previews now. That’s. Alone. Great.